A Completely False Life Lesson

A few posts ago, I showed you a sneak peek of an antique I purchased last year after I fell in love with the soft pinks and tawny browns that were used to stitch it. Recently I did a little research on the internet to look for information about Esther Syer, and was only able to come up with a few family tree names and dates. Nevertheless, it was nice to learn these small things about the young stitcher's story, and I've included what I found on the back of the chart.

As I was thinking about Miss Syer, I imagined her to be a carefree sort of young lady, and decided to have a little fun with presenting her to you. So I wrote a little story and asked Sophie to do an interpretation of it with facial expressions. She obliged, and here is what we came up with…

Once upon a time, little Esther Syer was born.
Esther 1 tp
Esther was a very happy child, whose favorite color was pink.
Esther 2 tp
She loved to play and frolick, and always neglected her mending and sewing chores.
Esther 3 tp
This made her mother (whose favorite color was black) very fretful, because she knew that Esther would never gain a suitor if she couldn't mend or sew or be serious. "To catch a man, keep a needle in hand!" she would always say to Esther.
Esther 4 tp
So one day Esther set out to catch a man by stitching a lovely sampler in both her and her mother's favorite colors.
Esther 5 tp
When Esther was eighteen, a man came along, admired her work, and asked to become her suitor. She agreed, and soon afterward, they were married.
Esther 6 tp
And Esther and her man lived happily ever after.
Esther 7 tp


  Esther Syer 1796 sp tp
No model was stitched for this antique, as I felt the motifs and colors have survived beautifully, despite the sampler being 218 years old. If you choose to stitch it, then a soft, neutral linen will work well for the background. I've listed a few suggestions on the chart, but please use what you like best. The linens I suggested are these:
Lakeside Linens' Vintage Pecan Butter
R&R Reproductions' Olde Towne Blend
Weeks Dye Works' Parchment
Esther's antique was stitched on a 32/34 ct. ground with silks. The silks I've chosen are by Needlepoint Inc., and are as follows (with the DMC equivalent in parentheses):
754 (152)
912 (167)
998 (310)
761 (422)
882 (746)
692 (3047)
602 (3727)
The stitch count is 172(w) x 197(h)
The gorgeous frame was done by Sherri Berkman at Total Framing in Fairfax, VA. As always, Sherri is very happy to take any phone orders for any stitching you may have, and trust me when I say she is the most friendly person to work with! (Believe it or not, I never choose my moulding.. I just mail the models to her and ask her to surprise me, and she never disappoints!)
The number for Total Framing is 703-426-0660, or you can find them on Facebook.
I hope you enjoyed our little story, and that if you do choose to stitch Esther, you would consider sending me your progress photos so I can see what her recreation would look like! I would so love that!

16 Replies to “A Completely False Life Lesson”

  1. OMG, I LOL when I scrolled to see Sophie in the baby carriage! Your story reminded me of making Blueberry Boy Bait coffee cake. My DSL asked me why it was named that. I explained, ‘back in the day’, girls baked to show off their cooking skills to catch a man. He kinda snorted and said my DD would have been an old maid! (She can bake,… but cooking – not so much)

  2. Quite story, I loved it. I also love the new sampler…definitely on my to-do list. I’m in the middle of stitching your 1837 Crown Sampler pattern and thoroughly enjoying it.

  3. Loved the story and love the sampler even more! It is beautiful! I also love your sneak peek of your Inspired Needle project. It’s gorgeous! I wish I could attend.

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